Goat Yoga

From the outside looking in…

Wow, is that a dangerous view.

We all have people in our life who we admire for the way they seemingly just handle everything with grace and courage. It’s those friends we tend to not worry about because we make the strong assumption that they have everything under control. Sometimes, it’s THOSE people who are beat down with anxiety and depression and just hide it really, really well. These folks are excellent at wearing a mask.

I am one of these people.

Depression.
Anxiety.
Unresolved grief.
We all have something.

I have worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for almost 20 years. I have seen patients and families at their worst. I’ve seen them feel that death was their only option, that being numb from drugs and alcohol is their only way of coping; and I have been blessed to watch so many figure out what they need, what works for them and have watched them heal, thrive, share their story and in turn, help others.

I have had to address my own mental health needs and, to many, that is surprising. I think many of us can relate to increased anxiety in our country lately. People are scared, angry, sad and worried. It’s hard to be excited and grateful for today when many are so concerned about the future. I’ve learned that we all deal with things differently. There are no hard and fast rules on how to manage anxiety and depression that works for every person, every time.

Self-care is imperative. We are so good at taking care of others and not ourselves. We need to acknowledge when we need a break, some down time or a day of rest.

 

Research supports exercise, good sleeping habits, healthy eating, talk therapy, breathing exercises, but when you are in the throes of darkness and chaos, those things don’t seem to be feasible techniques to help lift us up and out. Some people head to a doctor at the first sign of something being off, yet others will fight going to a doctor no matter how hard things get. Having support from people who understand is priceless. I would always tell patients that when we are in it, we can’t see it. You often don’t even realize how bad it has become because you are stuck in it and it surrounds you – it feels like you are drowning. And, before you know it, it becomes your “normal.”  It becomes even harder to talk about it with friends or family when their responses seem sterile and uneducated. I also say frequently that it’s not a bad thing if someone doesn’t understand depression or anxiety – that means they don’t have it and that’s a great thing. I know for me, I need to talk about it. I need to talk myself through my worries and talk about it with family and close friends.

Self-care is imperative. We are so good at taking care of others and not ourselves. We need to acknowledge when we need a break, some down time or a day of rest.

Self-care is not selfish. It’s necessary.

What happens if you don’t do anything to treat your depression or anxiety? It does not get better. And it will continue to worsen. Ignoring it does not make it go away.

But the best news is that it can, and will, get better once you decide to make treatment a priority.

Maybe this is where the goat connection fits. Taking time for yourself. Taking time to decompress, to do what you feel will be helpful to YOU. Maybe it’s lunch with a friend, maybe it’s jumping in the car with your bestie and driving two hours to cuddle baby Shenanigoats (this is exactly what two friends from Kentucky did last Sunday), maybe it’s a massage, whatever it is, DO IT.

The take away 

~ Be able to admit when you need help. When did you start noticing that you were feeling differently? Is it affecting other areas of your life (relationships, work, how are you eating and sleeping)?

Help may be a doctor, a break from the rigorous schedule you hold yourself to, a journal entry, weekly therapy, a weekend away to regroup…whatever it is, DO IT.

~ If you are prescribed medications to address your anxiety or depression, take them. Exactly. As. Prescribed. It is so easy for us to look at a tiny pill and tell ourselves it isn’t working or doesn’t help.

There is never a quick fix. Patience is needed and when you feel off – patience is not something you likely have in your reserves.

You finally asked for help – finally went to the hospital or to the doctor – and now it should be handled and remedied.

Right.
Now.
You’ve taken the first step. Keep walking.

~ Know what is good for your soul and, more importantly, what isn’t. If you have toxic people close to you, you may need to rethink those relationships. Even if they are family.

Be kind to yourself. You deserve it.

~ Jamie

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Shenanigoats

Shenanigoats is Nashville's premiere goat service company. Goatscaping, Goat Yoga and Goat Party events are just the tip of the proverbial goat hill. Relax we goat this!

6 Comments

  1. Jamie, I love you for so many reasons but top of the list has always been that you are real. Straight. Up. Real. You are you. And you are so lovable and full of light in the midst of your struggles. This post gives people a REAL life example of how depression, anxiety, whatever it may be, does not wholly define a person. Look at you Jamie. Think about what you do for others. Some might be asking “what does Jamie do for herself then?” I might be able to answer that😁She eats gyros, shoves entire cookies in her mouth, finds reason to laugh (hard, I might add) and sleeps during the day!!! Number two on my list of why I love you: unapologetic self-care.

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